Womensday with Roberta Hall
Roberta Hall was born and raised in Edinburgh and has worked in restaurants most her life, learning & crafting her trade at The Balmoral, The Kitchin and Burj Al Arab to name a few. In June 2018 Roberta opened The Little Chartroom in Leith with her husband Shaun (a Chartroom being the room on a ship where the charts are read!) and recently appeared on Great British Menu.
Hey Roberta, can you tell us a little bit about your current situation?
We are now on day 7 of lock down. I haven’t seen my parents for a few weeks as they both fall under the high- risk category, this is difficult for me as we are very close and although I work a lot I always try to make time to see them.
The hospitality sector has had a tough time of it during this crisis but the government is definitely giving us the support we need to get through this difficult period. I took the decision to close the restaurant on Wednesday 18th March and just offer take-away after this. On Sunday 22nd we decided to completely close as I no longer felt comfortable asking our staff to come in and work and put themselves at risk and go against the governments advice to stay at home. Initially my husband and I had thought about continuing to keep the business open on a smaller scale but we ended up following the governments advice as well.
How is COVID-19 affecting you?
Obviously, it is keeping me at home which is very challenging given I am used to spending such a large proportion of my week at work. Sadly, my work can’t be done from home so I’m having to find other ways to occupy myself. When I leave the house to walk anywhere I am constantly crossing roads to avoid people so COVID-19 is very much on my mind but I am trying really hard not let it consume me. It is very difficult having so little human contact when I am used to constantly working with a team and also having direct contact with the public.
Three words that describe how you’re feeling right now.
Disbelief, uncertain, but also pragmatic
What are you most fearful of?
My business has gathered a lot of momentum over the last 18 months so I do fear that when we finally get back to operating again we will have lost that momentum and there will be an element of starting again at the beginning. I am also scared of catching coronavirus.
We’re currently under lockdown – what are you doing more of?
Afternoon naps and baking at home. It is really nice to have some actual down time at home. Everyone’s lives are so busy that we don’t ever get a chance to just enjoy being at home and having some time to ourselves.
And less of?
Sleeping for 5 hours a night
How would you like to envisage your life in 6 months time?
I hope to be healthy and busy both professionally and socially. I hope that this time away from work will allow me to make more time for myself and my family and find a better work life balance.
One positive you think will come of the situation.
There is a lot of support within the community for lots of the small independent businesses. People have shown how generous they can be with their time and willingness to help, I hope this will continue.
Book you’re reading right now?
Night school by Lee Child
Something you’ve bought whilst in lockdown?
Local business you’re supporting?
Song to describe this moment in time?
Cruel Summer, Bananarama
If you can why not support The Little Chartroom now and buy gift-vouchers now to enjoy later. See you soon Roberta!
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